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Teacher accused of selling pot got 'glowing recommendations' during hiring processSubmitted: 11/14/2013
Story By Lex Gray

Teacher accused of selling pot got 'glowing recommendations' during hiring process
RHINELANDER - Police searched a Rhinelander High School teacher's house because they thought he had been stealing equipment from the school.

They say that's when they found 66 marijuana plants and a sophisticated grow operation. Since we reported that story last week, people have been asking how Joshua Juergens got hired in the first place.

"We got glowing recommendations," said superintendent Kelli Jacobi. "I don't know that those were all completely honest."

Superintendent Kelli Jacobi says the district did a background check on Juergens. That check turned up a record, as does a simple online search of Wisconsin's online court records.

In 2010, Juergens was convicted of disorderly conduct. In 1997, he was convicted of marijuana possession, both misdemeanors.

"We did know that there was a drug issue, a misdemeanor, I believe he was 19," Jacobi said. "We look at patterns in behavior. If something is a recurring thing in a background check, that definitely signals a problem."

But Jacobi says she can't factor certain convictions into the hiring process.

For now, Juergens is on unpaid leave from his teaching job. He'll stay in the Oneida County Jail unless he can come up with his $2,000 bail or get into a treatment facility.

He returns to court November 21.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

RHINELANDER - Nicolet College offers incoming students a faster way to get through the hassle of the college application process.Wednesday's "Quick Start" day in Rhinelander gave students one-on-one attention with career coaches and college advisors.

Nicolet staff walked students through applications, assessments and financial aid to make sure they don't get overwhelmed.

Career coach Angeline von Neupert said "Quick Start" gives students and staff an opportunity to get to know each other.

"It's really neat to get to know the students individually and kind of walk them through the process. It's cool to come together as a team. We're usually scheduling them and then they come back and go back and forth," said von Neupert

Fall classes start in August. If students missed Quick Start day they can schedule a meeting with a Nicolet College advisor.


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Caged Crow Customs in Saint Germain is getting so much national attention, the business' small garage is busting at the seams trying to keep up with all the projects.

"You gotta tip-toe to fit things where you can," said Caged Crow Customs Mobile Kitchen Manufacturer employee Jeremiah Hughes.

Right now, Caged Crow Customs turns trucks, cars, trailers and even buses into food trucks with a completely re-vamped new look.

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RHINELANDER - People can learn more about the construction plans for the US 8/HWY 47 intersection in Rhinelander at public meeting next week. 

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation will be holding a meeting June 26 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the Rhinelander City Hall. 

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TOMAH - A veteran went missing from the Tomah VA campus Tuesday. 

Police need help finding Michael Bates, 70, who has reported memory issues. 

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TAYLOR COUNTY - Police believe a Price County stabbed a Taylor County man in May with military style knife. 

Derek Novak, 25, is facing three felonies including attempted reckless homicide. 

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MERRILL - As Linda DeBroux walks through Merrill High School, she can see the halls she helped create.

What started as plain, whitewashed walls now look like an art gallery. For each of the last 13 summers, DeBroux has guided a select group of her art students to create murals to fill the walls.

"When I walk down, I don't just see the painting, I see the student, right there, painting on that wall," she said Wednesday. "I think of all the struggles, the struggle points they had, and parts where they celebrated."

Murals by ten students this week will bring the total to 157 on school walls. Like it does every summer, it will take long days to accomplish the project.

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RHINELANDER - Police accuse an Eagle River woman and her ex-husband of threatening and locking up a nurse practitioner in a Minocqua office last week, according to police.

Wednesday in an Oneida County courtroom a judge decided there was enough evidence to move forward with the case against 39-year-old Jillian Buza. According to a criminal complaint the Buzas locked the practitioner in the Marshfield Clinic office because she was trying to wean Jillian off opioids.

Police said her ex-husband held a hatchet and meat tenderizer to the nurse practitioner's face.
Minocqua Police Department Sergeant David Geiss testified about what Jillian did in that office, in court Wednesday.  

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